Archive for January, 2008


January 24th, 2008 1 comment

I have just discovered a massive link between two of my favourite hobbies and signature geek properties! Michael Dorn, Worf from the Star Trek franchise, did a lot of the voice work in World of Warcraft, the MMORPG that I play!

Return to Oz

January 23rd, 2008 5 comments

Jack, a colleague from the School of Computing, returns to Australia tomorrow following a year’s study here in Leeds. The impact that he has had on the school, and university as a whole, is quite remarkable as was evident by the turnout at his leaving do on Sunday. He must have attracted more than thirty people from the school, archery society, ju jitsu society and atheist society. This level of impact is something I have not encountered since school when we had temproray pupils from New Zealand every year on a rugby exchange.

I often wonder if the impact i have on those around me would be as noticeable as Jack’s. This Summer will see a large transition period in many of our lives. A lot of my friends will be graduating in June and moving on to bigger and better things and as much as everyone promises to keep in touch Jack, I think the actual number will be relatively low. Will this occur amongst the circle? How many of us will remain such close friends once we move apart. I think the numbers, again, will be fairly small. This thought upsets me a little as many of the relationships I have forged over the past four years are dear to me and will not be easily recreated.

Then there is the matter of housing…

I will be leaving my current house in June after a good three years here. Living with the girls in the first two had its ups and downs but it was a defining time of my university career. The last six months, and hopefully the next six, have been really good. Having housemates that I enjoy living with has been a revelation!

I am looking at moving up slightly in the world with my next house and get something a little less studenty and more family orientated. I have been looking at houses outside of the main student areas as the rent is comparable and you geta lot more for your money. The problem I face, however, is who to live with?

Back to school

January 22nd, 2008 No comments

The first day back to school or work, or in my case university, after a holiday or time-off is always an experience, Today was no different. My first day back to uni after the Christmas vacation went relatively smoothly. Three lectures (well two down one to go) soread out over eight hours, always a nightmare, and a theme throughout this semester’s timetable. I have few consecutive lectures which means that I am stuck in uni all day every day!

Started a new course in philosophy of religion and resumed courses in programming and economics. Same old same old mainly. Philosophy of religion looks like it might be interesting but I think I might get annoyed with the rather large Christian contingent that makes up my tutor group!

Got some feedback on my CR11 mock today, which looks promising. Got an ok 2:1, not as high as I had hoped but pretty good seeing as I struggled with one of the large questions on the paper. Marks for the coursework will be out soon too. It is always exciting to get marks back, unless you know you have done badly!

Coursework 0 – Norman 1

January 20th, 2008 1 comment

It was a close fought contest, but I have eventually risen triumphant over my CR11 coursework!

I tarred and g-zipped my directory and am in the process of electronically submitting it as we speak! It is such a relief to have it behind me.

It wasn’t a particularly difficult task to complete , but it did pose some quite interesting problems and allowed me to develop a relatively complex python program from scratch that incorporated everything we have covered so far in CR11 as well as introducing databases and SQL.

My project solution involved writing a program that allowed a user to upload their own music collection and then perform a variety of tasks including searches, sorting and editing the data. As I say, nothing too fancy but a worthwhile exercise nonetheless. It also managed to inspire the hidden software developer inside me and I think I will be looking to run some further development in the near future.

Wendy ’08

January 20th, 2008 2 comments

It has been so long since I last went out clubbing in Leeds and so I jumped at the chance to go to this month’s Wendy House. My housemate, Chris, had thrown together a pre-Wendy party at ours – mainly so he had an excuse to play the new Cascade album, but also to ensure a decent Wendy turnout from the circle. In the end we had about six or seven attendees which is a pretty good effort to be honest.

The evening was quite a success really, we left pretty much at the end – missing only 30-40 minutes or so of the night – as most people drank sensibly and didn’t get into too much trouble! Takeaway was grabbed on the way home and apart from a minor incident involving Michelle, prawn crackers and some waterworks we made it through the night virtually unscathed.

Chris also managed to lose his virginity!


January 16th, 2008 4 comments

I have eaten a couple of times in Mine now and I am still unsure as to how I would rate the experience as a whole. Mine is Leeds University Union’s ‘upmarket’ eating establishment and bar – offering table service, a la carte menu and at night an intimate, atmospheric venue used mainly for the smaller club nights and live music.

First, my main criticisms. I think that the food menu is too small and lacks any real variety, the food is of so-so atandard and is somewhat overpriced in my honest opinion. Today was a bad experience in terms of drinks – the lager I ordered was flat!

On a positive note, the service and atmosphere are pretty good. Relaxed enough to enjoy a quick bite with friends yet formal enough that you could entertain there too. As usual with the union establishments the staff are friendly and approachable and are very quick to deal with any issues.

I will probably eat there again, but mainly due to the fact there is no viable alternative within walking distance of the university with the decline of the Llama and Eldon. The Library too far away and The Faversham too expensive. I hope that the union is quick to look at the potential of Mine and realises that it could be so much more!

End of exams

January 16th, 2008 No comments

Well as of today I have no more exams until June! From Monday I will be back into the swing of everyday university life, something I am surprisingly looking forward to. Examination periods, although a necessary evil, do tend to ensure that I get well behind on other projects – such as CompSoc and A-Soc stuff I have to do, coursework that is due and personal relationships that are starved somewhat of attention.

I think the exams went well enough and I am confident of good passes ina ll the exams with hopefully a few fists dotted in for good measure. They will, of course, be meaningless as this year is entirely formative but I think they are a good indicater of progress and allow for some positive feedback and constructive criticism from the teaching staff.

Speaking of results, best wishes to all those who are waiting on significantly more important results with regards to their degree courses and ultimately their career choices! I hope that you all get what you need to make sure you get where you want to be!

Coursework be damned!

January 9th, 2008 2 comments

On several occasions today I have been very close to picking up my linux machine and throwing it out the window, quite literally!

I have been trying to install and run MySQL and Apache so I can put together my CR11 database coursework. MySQL was no real effort, just sudo apt-get it and wa-hey away you go – pretty self explanatory and a rather robust piece of software, not that I am overly qualified to make that sort of statement, lol.

Apache on the other hand has really done my nut in. Firstly, it took all day to install and run properly after hours of fiddling with apr’s. Secondly, I don’t seem to be able to link Apache with the files I am using to write the program, either tells me I don’t have permission or that it can’t find the files! Any help on this apsect much appreciated. At the moment I am tempted to give up and head into DEC-10 to do my coursework, but after shelling out on a machine that’s supposed to do it at home I don’t really want to take that step.

Pre-examination Stress

January 9th, 2008 1 comment

Well, my first exam of this year starts in a little under seven hours and I am still awake. Don’t get me wrong, I am as prepared as I ever have been for an exam. I actually am convinced that I will get a very high mark regardless of the question that come up even bearing in mind I have not taken an essay based exam paper since my GCSEs in 2001! I am just suffering from pre-exam nerves, or possibly over stimulation from the fact that I have been feeding my brain philosophy and logic for a week solid now…. Who knows?

On a slightly different note, A-Soc had a screening of The Da Vinci Code which was a welcome break from the seemingly endless reading, writing and watching CSI! There was a modest turnout, we managed three, which is not too surprising as it is the first week of exam week and the first real week back to work for most of our adult members. Even though, I was hoping for more – watching a video is not exactly taxing and even at nearly two and half hours long, it doesn’t fill up too much of an evening. We did a new face turning up so not a total watse of time. It’s not a bad film either in all honesty. it doesn’t get the reviews it deserves and most people I know slate it due to the variation from the book. To be totally frank though, the film is good. It is well acted, benefits from the screenplay differences and is a genuinely enthralling conspiracy thriller. Slate it if you dare. Plus Dan Brown is a twit, a profit mongering, semi-talented, sell-out of an author; for whom I have infinite respect. I wish I could churn out that kind of material with little effort or quality and make the kind of money he does!


January 7th, 2008 No comments

I got eXistenZ from my brother for Christmas. it is a sci-fi thriller set in the near future starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law. It is bizarre. I still am confused afetr watching it and reading about it and talking about it. Totally and utterly confuzzled.

I will recommend it to people purely on the basis that I need people’s opinions about it – so I can form my own!